Saturday, March 10, 2012

Tidbit: Green banana strategies


Did  you ever buy a bunch of bananas that were as green as a shamrock? I’ve had a few bunches that never, ever ripened, even after 2 weeks of watchful waiting. The poor things just started to dehydrate.

This week, the store had very green bananas and very ripe bananas. Since I wasn’t in the mood for making banana bread, I choose the green ones.

When bananas and other fruits ripen, they give off ethylene gas. The grocers give the bananas a dose of gas in a controlled setting before the bananas hit the produce aisle, to help them gradually ripen.

So what can you do when the bananas are way too green and you want them edible? The Chiquita banana people have banana ripening and storage tips on their web site (they also have interesting recipes for bananas in any stage of ripeness).

Tip: If your bananas are too green, put them in a brown paper bag with an apple or tomato overnight to speed ripeness. I have also draped a bunch of bananas over a bowl of apples and that worked pretty well, too.

Tip: Slow down the ripening process by storing bananas in the refrigerator. The skin will turn dark but the banana will maintain their stage of ripeness for several days.

Tip: Don’t put green bananas in the refrigerator or they may not resume ripening, even when returned to room temperature.

Tip: Bananas that are too ripe for eating can be peeled and frozen to use later in banana bread or muffins.

Do you have any tried and true banana tips to share?

1 comment:

Exuberant Color said...

I'm just happy to hear the rest of the brown bag story. Everyone just told me to put the green bananas in there, they never mentioned putting an apple in with them and of course nothing happened.
I like my bananas quite ripe for my morning smoothie since that makes it sweet without adding any additional sweetener.